GTA IV 10 Year Anniversary – Our Top 10 Favourite Things
Can you believe it? 10 years ago to this very day, the first HD edition to the Grand Theft Auto Series was released and featured ground-breaking changes, including HD graphics, re-configured physics, a fresh looking city… and of course, Multiplayer for the first time, which set the series up for a brand new direction in gaming evolution. Set in the dark and gritty streets of Liberty City, players are introduced to the main character, Niko Bellic, who is in search for revenge from his past in the war. Grand Theft Auto IV followed a new direction in storytelling compared to the previous titles in the series. The game aimed to be more ‘serious’ and ‘realistic’ compared to games such as GTA: San Andreas where cars could drive on water… and fly…
In this unique article, we go through our Top 10 favourite things about Grand Theft Auto IV and explain why they made it to the list. If you want to share with us what you liked the most about GTA IV, be sure to let us know on Twitter!
Number 10 – Mobile Phone:
Starting at number 10 and working our way to the top, on the bottom of our list (but also still one of our favourite things) has definitely got to be the in-game mobile phone. The addition of the mobile phone in GTA IV meant a variety of different things could be crammed into one location rather than being scattered. The mobile phone was the main way to contact characters, receive texts and emails for side-missions, main missions or mission hints, as well as being able to access Multiplayer modes, have reminders set, change backgrounds and ringtones and of course, prank calling 911. It was also a good way to skip mission diaglogue and even speed up some parts of the storyline, as the ability to call characters meant opening up missions before they were due to actually call you. The best feature on the phone though is being able to store cheats. Unlike previous GTA games, once a cheat had been inputted in GTA IV (via using the phone’s keypad) it would be stored under a ‘Cheats’ section which meant having to quickly put in L1, R1, Square, R1, Left, R2, R1, Left, Square, Down, L1, L1 for one cheat became history!
Number 9 – Story Decisions:
At number 9 we’ve chosen something which was introduced in GTA IV and gave the game a brand-new diverse storytelling experience. Of course, we’re talking about being given choices which would impact how the story progressed. Whether it be the final few missions and having to choose between Deal or Revenge, or perhaps killing and sparing a life, or choosing Dwayne or Playboy X, each decision took the story in a different direction, which led to different unlocks, dialogues and even missions. It gave the player a true feel of control over the storyline, that we felt connected and involved and that our choices could potentially make the storyline spiral into a different plot. It was a new feature which was then used further in TLAD & TBOGT expansions.
Number 8 – Ragdoll:
Something pretty small, but a lot of fun and created a lot of laughs. At number 8 is the Ragdoll physics feature. If you’re unsure on what ragdolling is, get yourself on GTA IV (or TLAD, TBOGT, V), grab yourself a car and just drive into someone and watch them slide, fly or flap about in the air as your vehicle strikes them. Although it’s not a real-life laughing matter, remember this is only a game and we’re allowed to have fun. Have you ever drove a car in GTA IV straight at a busy group of people in Middle Park and seen how much blood you can get on your bonnet and how many people you can hit? It’s like a traffic cone challenge.
Number 7 – The Storyline:
Each Grand Theft Auto game has its own unique storyline which it follows, and on a personal level, Grand Theft Auto IV probably has to be my favourite storyline out of all the games. The whole atmosphere of wanting revenge for something, the determination to achieve that revenge no matter what it takes, just gives me chills and makes me feel really gripped onto the storyline and what Niko Bellic wanted to achieve. The story felt fluid and introduced characters at the perfect time and also killed them off at the perfect time too. The finale of GTA IV’s storyline didn’t lack any tension, the build up was expected perfectly, and the little additions that were thrown in made you feel really connected and involved with Niko’s journey.
Number 6 – Theme Song:
At number 6 is the GTA IV Theme Song. Music is a fantastic way to express emotions and feelings and Rockstar Games really hit the nail on the head with GTA IV’s theme music. Using a variety of instruments, primary being the violin, acoustic guitar and tambourine (as well as many other instruments), both the theme music and pause menu music created a dark, gritty, cold atmosphere which brought the story of revenge to life. Michael Hunter is the composer and the title is called Soviet Connection. It’s definitely one of our favourite theme songs, that’s for sure!
Number 5 – Bowling:
Any GTA fan will know that one piece of dialogue from a very annoying and constant phone call became a classic line in GTA history… “Niko, let’s go bowling!”… NO ROMAN! – GTA IV was the first game to introduce what would probably be considered as joint-friendship activities, and it really expanded the game’s potential, especially if you had completed the storyline and was sat driving around in an Golf Caddy trying to entertain yourselves. In fact, there were quite a few things you could do; Bowling, eat, go for a drink, watch a show, or go and spend a few fine hours looking around a strip club… window shopping of course. All of these added a new feeling to GTA and soon became a hit with the increased leisure activities now available in GTA V.
Number 4 – Multiplayer:
At number 4 comes the biggest addition in Grand Theft Auto history. Multiplayer! Okay yes, GTA SA:MP is a thing, but it was developed by a modding community and wasn’t available from day 1, and yes… there’s co-op split screen in GTA games… but GTA IV went above and beyond what we had ever seen before. A full-fledged world of Liberty City which allowed us to meet up and interact with other players around the globe in Free Mode, or take to the streets and win 1st place in a sports race… or a bus… or helicopter… maybe you fancied joining the LCPD and chasing criminals in Cops ‘N’ Crooks… or going after the mob in Deal Breaker… whatever the mode, GTA IV brought a whole new area of online gaming and with the development of GTA Online for GTA V, it’s definitely had an impact. Of course there we a few drawbacks, but for a game in 2008, GTA IV’s Multiplayer really was a fine, impressive piece of work!
Number 3 – Liberty City:
We’re now closing into our Top 3 and up next is something that has a very divided opinion. The world of GTA IV… Liberty City. Yes, alright, the overall size of GTA IV is shocking, it’s about 1/4 of the size of GTA: San Andreas, but the actual design of Liberty City is perfectly suited for the storyline. There are a significant number of landmarks in the city which resemble New York in real life, and Rockstar really did try their hardest to capture them. On a personal note, I really like Liberty City because it emphasises on the dark, girtty, negative vibe which GTA IV tries to put forward. It does come with its restrictions, such as not having the ability to fly places but it’s not all bad.
Number 2 – Three Leaf Clover:
You’ve probably only just had to read them 3 words above and you know what we’re on about. Probably GTAIV’s greatest story mission! Three Leaf Clover involved Niko being a part of an Irish team to rob the Bank of Liberty, To avoid spoilers, that’s all we’re going to say, but if you have played it, you’ll know it’s a Fu**ing brilliant mission and in fact is probably the reason GTAV’s storyline is the way it is. Running from the police, gunning them down and of course being in a huge pursuit definitely gets the adrenaline going!
Number 1 – The Swing Set Glitch:
Our most favourite feature in GTAIV, which has got to have created a lot of laughs online as well as in SP, is the sing set glitch. Being flung across Liberty City at 100mph and 3000ft in the air like a catapult… this glitch was something Rockstar found amusing and didn’t even consider patching. We’ve included a video below from MacsPooGaming of a montage of the glitch.
That pretty wraps up out Top 10 favourite things about GTA IV! We hope you enjoyed the read! It’s been a fantastic 10 years with thousands of memories. It’ll soon be 10 years for TLAD, TBOGT and more. Stay tuned here at Rockstar Universe for all things Rockstar Games!
For those wishing to download our 10th Anniversary Wallpaper, you can get the full resolution image below: